The Regional Educational Laboratory–Appalachia (REL-Appalachia) seeks to identify and meet the educational research needs of state and local education agencies, school districts, and schools in the Appalachian region (Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee). Part of a network of 10 such labs across the country, REL-Appalachia is designed to conduct and disseminate research that supports continuous improvement in student outcomes, helps close achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students, and achieves other goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. Insight provided research assistance regarding the programs and initiatives, which emphasized long-term, rigorous evaluations of public education programs and short-term research projects investigating and analyzing education policies and practices.
Insight led the coordination of professional development opportunities for stakeholders across the REL–Appalachia region aimed at bringing evidence-based practices to practitioners. These events were typically based on the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Practice Guides. Insight developed the events, including the foundational structure; recruitment of speakers, experts, and panelists; materials (including analysis of the presentation plans and crosswalk to the practice guide); coordination with core staff; participant invitations; and all conference logistics. Educators Bringing Evidence to Practice Events included—
- Supporting Early Readers: Response to Intervention and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades: This event discussed the findings in the National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance Practice Guide Assisting Students Struggling With Reading: Response to Intervention and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades. This practice guide presented recommendations for educators to assist students experiencing reading difficulties.
- Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools: This event presented information about evidence-based strategies to turn around schools with a history of low performance quickly and effectively.
- Dropouts in Tennessee and Strategies for Prevention: This event discussed the findings in the WWC Practice Guide on dropout prevention and informed school districts about the work of the WWC and the regional educational laboratories.
- Report, Supporting Early Readers: Response to Intervention and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades (May 2009)
- Report, Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools (November 2009)
- Report, Dropouts in Tennessee and Strategies for Prevention Report (January 2010)